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piers is back on monday keeping america great with a presidents day special. he is taking on politics with reagan, a hoover and a taft. presidential descendants. that's on monday. i'm ashleigh banfield. thanks for watching, everyone.
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hello, everyone. i'm don lemon. the stories you're talking about in just a moment. but first let's get you up to speed on the day's headlines. a truck bomb killed at least 79 people in central pakistan. at least 180 others were wounded. police say the explosives were packed inside a water tanker and detonated by remote control. the attack was the latest in an ongoing campaign of violence against muslim shiites in the region. cardinals could meet sooner than thought to decide on a new pope. benedict xvi steps down at the end of the month. an idaho man could get a year in federal prison for smacking a toddler on a recent delta flight. according to court paperers, joe ricky hundley he used the "n" word and slapped the 2-year-old when the boy started crying as the play descended into atlanta. he faces a federal assault charge. from 130 miles an hour to 0 in the blink of an eye. it happened friday night in iowa during a high-speed chase. the police officer was already
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out of his cruiser so he was okay. but the driver of the speeding car was killed. after the wreck, police discovered the man's 5-year-old son was also in the car. the boy survived and is being treated for his injuries. the child was at the center of a custody dispute in georgia between the man and his wife. a lot more is planned for you this saturday night. here's where else we're working on. why does hollywood keep hiring the same black actor again and again and again? he's here live. he says he gets hired because he's not a scary black man to white people. an asteroid flyby. the closest in modern history and a once in a 100-year meteorite in russia, on the same day? fire up the conspiracy theories. also -- i sit down with one of the hottest bands in the world, fun. a government prepares for the apocalypse.
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>> canada will never become a safe haven for zombies ever. and the dance that's everywhere, even here at cnn, the harlem shake. just when you think we've got it all worked out, cutting-edge technology, scientific breakthroughs, miracle medicine, lately there's been talk about colonizing mars and many of you carry around a supercomputer right in your pocket. but just when you think you have it all worked out, the univers reminds us, we really don't. case in point, friday a chunk of space rock gets sucked in by the earth's gravitational pull. then streaks across the sky above russia. as it rockets through the atmosphere, friction heats the front of the rock a lot more than the back of it.
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the huge temperature difference is too much and essentially turns a meteor into a bomb. it explodes into a bunch of pieces. and what you're hearing here, that boom, boom, boom, is this -- take a look. those pieces are moving so fast they set up a series of sonic booms and it's just a scary sound. the sheer force is destructive, blowing out windows, knocking down huge doors and even taking down walls. there are reports that a huge chunk of it landed in a russian lake. many would like to see what's under that ice. conspiracy theorists have come up with 1,000 wild theories. and our phil black went to find out for himself. >> reporter: we're walking on a frozen lake. it's about a 90-minute drive west of chelyabinsk. we're here because locals say a big fragment from the meteor punched through the ice and is now sitting at the bottom of the lake.
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>> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: well, that was a very firm no. these police officers said it is prohibited for us to be here, to shoot video here, to try and walk any further. if part of that meteorite came down down there where those vehicles are, as locals say it did, authorities don't want anyone else to say it. >> the meteor thing was scary enough by itself. but we've talk about an asteroid near-miss for several days. not the russia asteroid, another one. this one got uncomfortably close to the earth. i asked an astronomer if the two events a connected. he said definitely not. >> >> no. you have to know the two events
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were separated by about 14 hours. the earth is hurtling around the sun at 19 miles per second. in 14 hours, we've covered a lot of real estate going around the sun. so we're in a different place. these two items were not connected in any way, just cosmic connection. >> so when the next monster asteroid comes, who will save us? bruce willis? not likely. might be ed lou. these days he's working on a space telescope. with it he hopes to protect the earth from asteroids. he spoke with sanjay gupta about it. >> this is the space telescope. >> that's it? that's basically the size of it there? >> yeah. the real one is about the size of, say, a delivery truck. it's about 23, 24 feet tall. about 2,600 pounds. over a 6 1/2-year period, it is going to scan earth's orbit and map all the asteroids across earth's orbit. those are the asteroids that could hit.
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each month it's going to discover about 10,000 asteroids. >> each month, 10,000? >> yes. which is more than all other telescopes throughout history combined, have discovered. >> sanjay gupta has more with ed lou and his space telescope. he wants to protect the planet from asteroids. tall order. check out their conversation, 2:30 eastern. and next, one black actor shows up again and again and again on tv commercials. why is that? he thinks it's because he's safe for white people. i'm going to talk to that actor next. kwlr [ manager 2 ] it's like working in a giant sandbox. with all these huge toys. and with the fastest push-to-talk... i can keep track of them all. [ male announcer ] upgrade to the new "done" with access to the fastest push-to-talk and three times the coverage. now when you buy one kyocera duraxt rugged phone for $69.99,
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people are saying "progress-oh!" share your progress-oh! story on facebook. being black in hollywood is fantastic for the one black guy in every single commercial. you know him. the quirky non-threatening black guy. "saturday night live" hit a nerve -- >> hey, seth, high-five! all right. >> how are you, corey? >> awesome, man, just awesome. my life is great. this year, i was in 14 commercials and i was also the one black guy in a college brochure. >> that's great. that's really cool. what have you been up to lately? >> so much. just came back from venice beach where i was playing some drums on the top of a pringles can with some friends, just messing around. then i went to this awesome party where i was the deejay. i put a dr. pepper can on the middle of turntable.
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i was just like -- everybody loved -- >> look familiar? >> i just left venice beach. >> that was inspiring. actor jamison reeves joins us from los angeles. his casting director mimi webb miller joins us and director anthony hemingway joins us as well. thank you all for joining us. jamison, you describe yourself as the one acceptable black friend in commercials. let's watch. >> you made a great choice. the honda accord holds its value batter than any other sedan in america. coffee? please. [ laughter ]
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>> how did you do that? >> automagically. >> so, listen, the commercials are good. but, jamison, why do you think casting directors choose you and not other black actors? that "snl" skit, there was a lot of truth to it. >> well, i think it's because -- well, first, i'm talented. i think i'm a talented actor. i think my look has caught on because i've remained this look since the beginning and other people have started to kind of take on the look to, i guess they thought that it was making them a better actor by having this kind of hair and these kind of glasses. >> what's your look? >> my look is, i really don't care about how i look. i like to feel comfortable. i grow my beard because i don't
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want to shave. i grow my hair out because i don't want to do too much work on it. and i wear the glasses because i got sick and tired of wearing contact lenses. >> are you usually the only black guy on the set? what about the clients, producers or the crew? >> for the most part, yes. i'm usually one of two or three black people on a set. clients, agency -- most of the people on that end are white and most of the crew is white. so you do come across black talent every once in a while and black crew members. it's very seldom. it's getting better, but, yeah, it's an interesting phenomenon. >> mimi webb miller, you work with michael jackson, worked with ray charles. do you think it's difficult to get black actors cast in major roles for tv or movies or even in television commercials? how are black actors viewed in hollywood today? >> it's better than it used to be. and jamison isn't really blowing
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his own horn. he's very talented. we can bring him to the picture but he has to be chosen by the director or the client. he's been very lucky and worked very hard. >> other than that, he's very talented, but there are a lot of black actors, starving black actors and talented black actors who don't get picked. do you think he's the acceptable black friend, as he says? >> yes, i do believe that that's true. but in the old days, we couldn't even put a couple together if they didn't match colors. nowadays, that's different. it's changed quite a bit. i would think jamison would think so, too. >> let's talk to anthony, though. anthony, how difficult was it to get "red tails" off the ground? what are the biggest barriers in hollywood for black actors and black filmmakers? >> george lucas had red tails on his lap for over 18 years.
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and he said it took him many efforts to get studios to listen. so that's why he went and did it independently. we're very thankful for that. but i think part of the problem a lot of times is these stories -- before we even get to casting, it starts on the page. so we are constantly trying to think out of the box from script to screen and just to get producers on board to be a part of social change. and to try to make steps ahead. "red tails" for me was definitely one more page that we can turn toward the future. >> actor denzel washington is mega successful. we know about that. two academy awards, dozens of big-name roles. is denzel's hollywood -- is he the go-to actor now? why no other actors? there are very few other actors.
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>> i think the actors like denzel, they bring a certain, i think -- i would say a gravitas to the picture. so when you see that actor, you know what to expect and you can go and watch the film and kind of relax. but i think in having -- there are so many more talented actors out there. i've had such great experiences. my whole career has been working in trying to present platforms and presenting so many more great talented actors, both men and women. and it's definitely a challenge. but we're all a part of, i think, a coalition of really trying to break down the wall and continue to forge ahead because we're out there. >> jamison, anthony, mimi, stick around. we're just getting started here. a lot more next.
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does hollywood prefer white skin? we're talking about typecasting in hollywood. non-white actors face subtle and not-so-subtle stereotypes. an actor born in navid from showtime's "homeland," take a look -- >> you pervert the teachings of the prophet and call it a cause. >> generations must suffer and die. we are prepared for that. are you? >> in "homeland" he seeks seeks revenge for a drone strike that killed his phone. he's played terrorists in csi and law & order. some say his terrorist roles reinforce wrong thoughts about the middle east. >> i'm not playing an iranian. because i know the culture, i can bring it alive. the show doesn't give you an answer.
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the show raises questions. so you ask yourself the question, how would i behave if i were in that situation? they see that there is no hero. everybody has flaws. >> so joining our panel now is psychologist wendy walsh, tim wise and dean obeidallah. it's like "the brady bunch". >> and you're the dad. >> it's interesting. whenever i look on television, whatever it is, the news, i go, that's not america. nothing, i haven't seen anything that looks like that. where everything is all white. what's going on? dean, should this actor feel guilty about playing a terrorist should a black actor feel guilty plague a >> i'm arab-american. we hear about that all the time.
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should arab-americans play the terrorists? if we don't play it, an indian or latino guy is going to play it. we have to make our own projects, tell our own story accurately and honestly. >> the voice of reason in the red shirt, tim wise. what's going on in hollywood? >> what's going on in hollywood is what goes on all around the country. hollywood reflects back and advertising commercial ads reflect back the culture. we live in a society where we have 40 years of research which finds that, sadly, white consumers, whether it's moviegoers or people who buy consumer products will not purchase products or go to films that they perceive as not about them. that's not hollywood's problem. that's our problem. if we want hollywood to reflect america, we have to demonstrate, those of us in the dominant group, those of us who are white, have to demonstrate that we are open to connecting with black and brown folks in the ways that are not stereotypical. that's on us.
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it's not hollywood's fault. >> go ahead, wendy? they reflect back what people are feeling, but >> yes, but they can have the power to raise the bar, up the ante. a few years ago when ikea was the first one to do this amazing commercial with a gay couple shopping for furniture. i'm sure they didn't think their primary demographic were all gay couples. it brought in a liberal, wonderful group of people i'm sure to their stores. i think advertisers can do that. they do the research and the research says some of these awful stereotypes still work. they still sell. but can't they also have the power to change us a bit? >> mimi, you heard what tim wise said. it's reflecting back in our culture. if white people won't buy a product and they are the predominant in the culture, then is there something wrong with not putting people of color on commercials or in positions of power, in media because white people won't find it acceptable
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and may not purchase a certain product or watch the particular channel? >> well, i don't know that it gets that strong although there are a lot of people that are polar nowadays. but i think with commercials you're dealing with a whole different ball game than you are with a film. you're dealing with an advertiser and a client and an advertising agency and a director trying to create the art and make a change. i've seen it where -- when they've switched the roles where the dominant position would now be a black family versus one sole black person. >> here's what i find interesting. i was watching one of our shows here the other fight. and jane fonda was talking about women in hollywood and empowerment. and everybody's like, it's great, we should talk about it. but the moment you talk about minorities in films or in television commercials or even on television in positions of power in the news, people say,
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why are you bringing that up? you're racist for talking about that. what is that, tim wise? >> well, we live in a culture that tells us if we talk about racism, that causes racism and we should talk less, which is absurd. if you think about any other social problem, no one would say that. if you talk about world hunger, no one would say, don't talk about that and then food will miraculously appear on the plate of starving children. like we understand other problems, you address by talking about them. but white america, frankly, white folks do not like to be confronted with the truth of our history and our ongoing reality. that's why we say we're post-racial because we have a black president and millions of white folks turned barack obama into their own person cliff huxtable. that doesn't mean we are past racism. that is what we have to deal with. >> anthony, do you agree with that? >> absolutely. i think especially we're talking about the whole big picture of
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hollywood and where we all work. on the surface, it's liberal. but when you look deeper than that, it's completely face value. and it's always an issue. and i think it's the consciousness that we need to continue to bring up and to discuss. that will only help us move forward. >> jamison, you made a point, we were talking about news. and i said if it's the black guy on the news on the weekend and i said, how many brown-skinned brothers do you see anchoring the news. and you said, what? >> one. one. just one. just you. just you. turn the channel. turn the channel, come back. you'll be right here. >> where's the arab guy? >> where's the arab guy? the arab anchor? seriously, dean, where's the arab anchor, the asian anchor, the hispanic anchor? where are the brown-skinned african-american news anchors?
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>> why does it matter on cnn? we've got sanjay, we've got you. it matters. >> we're talking more than cnn, though. we're talking the entire united states. go ahead. >> we're all fighting for that. the one point, like jamison, there's one black guy in these commercials. i wish there were one middle eastern guy in each commercial. i wish we got to that point. you need that middle eastern voice or person. we don't have that yet. we're demonized. if there's one good arab guy that works with the authorities is later killed by a bad arab guy. we are at different points in our progression. african-americans have created your own project so you can showcase yourselves in a positive light. we are not there yet. we're getting there little by little. make your own projects. it's the only way. hollywood's never going to give us that. >> that's one good thing for that one arab guy. he's got job security. >> jamison, you have job
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security. you are the one black guy. >> yeah, job security is great. there are a bunch of black actors. i'm the one guy that looks like this. you're starting to see more and more black actors in commercials. but it's just because this look that i have seems to be very non-threatening, seems to be very familiar. people can look at that guy and go, oh, he might be able to date my daughter, oh, he's cool. so it's a look that's for now -- >> i wouldn't go that far, jamison. >> oh, come on! trying to get some love here. >> don, you know the answer to the future -- the future is going to solve this problem. i've always said that the answer to black and white is brown. as you know, my daughters are multiracial and they have a huge peer group in america now, up-and-coming mixed race children. one in seven american marriages are mixed race. not all black/white. they're all mixing in now.
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they'll look back at this tape in 20, 30 years and go, i can't believe they were talking about that. so brown will be the thing that brings us all together. >> tim, wendy, dean, jamison, mimi, anthony, "the brady are. how it should be. thank you, guys. it was a busy week in politics from the president's state of the union to marco rubio's water bottle. we tackle it all. that's next. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
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president obama's state of the union speech, marco rubio's thirsty response and the showdown over cabinet nominee chuck hagel. i talked about all of it with democratic strategist robert zimmerman starting with the man who wants to be in charge at the pentagon. the showdown over chuck hagel's nomination, blocked by republicans until of presidents day break. very rare to filibuster a cabinet pick. i want to show you what john mccain said on fox. he said, there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mercilessly and said he was the worst president since herbert hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war. which is nonsense.
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antihis own party, people don't forget that. is this hagel fight about policy or is it about a political payback? >> this is all about politics. when you listen to that quote from john mccain and you watch the way he and his colleagues conducted themselves, they look like an infomercial for anger management therapy. it was truly nothing more than a grudge match. we have almost 70,000 soldiers in combat in afghanistan representing us, fighting for our country and also protecting each other. we need to have a strong figure coordinating the pentagon. and the tactics that you see mccain and the republicans engaging in clearly undermine the next secretary of defense who they all acknowledge is going to be chuck hagel. the other issue, don, is politics in the context of political preservation. lindsey graham is posturing himself because he's afraid of a tea party challenge for renomination to the senate. john cornyn is afraid of being out-conservatived by his junior senator in texas.
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>> let's talk about the state of the union. the president covered a lot of ground from minimum wage to pre-kindergarten. any angle you think he overlooked? >> every state of the union and this one is no exception comes across as a laundry list or a campaign speech. what made this one significant and made it stand out in my mind was i think it was the strongest explanation of why family values -- why the government can help with family values and help rebuild our economy. the president's talk about preschool education, which is only available for only three out of every ten children. that is such a great investment in our future. our nation used to lead the world on secondary education, on college education. but we've fallen behind the world on preschool education. and we've seen in study after study, the rate of return is fantastic in terms of helping
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young people become more responsible, seek careers and jobs. but what was missing from the speech was the president's failure to challenge his party, my party, to engage in entitlement reform, for example. i think that is certainly a role that he has to play to move the debate to the center and to really bring about a consensus about an economic recovery. >> moving on, this was a moment that went viral. marco rubio's response. he's a rising star in the g.o.p. gets his moment in primetime. but his lunge for the water bottle steals the spotlight. look. >> nothing's frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. the choice isn't just between big government and big business. what we need is -- >> i know you're a democrat. but do you think that too much was made of that now infamous gulp?
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>> this is a great moment for political pundits and for many members of the media. but then there are people with real lives and they want to hear about the serious issues that impact their lives. putting america back to work, providing education opportunities for their children, giving a sense of future and hope for our country. and clearly that moment, while it captivated the blogosphere and the media had to relevance to people with real lives and real agendas. >> my thanks to robert zimmerman. a government takes on a terrifying future head-on. seriously or not so seriously, but if you haven't heard, the canadian parliament talk about the zombie apocalypse, you don't want to miss this.
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when you want someone who can handle it all, someone who can tackle pop culture, media and entertainment, someone who defines a hip, the happening and the now, you want the best and only the best.
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until then, we've got dean obeidallah. he's a comedian and available most saturday nights for stand-up comedy appearances, tv and children's parties. how are you? >> how are you? >> i am great after that intro. >> i'm going to therapy for a year now. >> you've been gone, i've been gone. let's talk about this. this has been dominating the media outlets. web tv, everything. this russian meteor is amazing. but i hear it weirded you out. why. >> it's not a meteor. it is a promo for the new superman movie. it crashed into the lake. wake up, americans! it went out of the sky on a trajectory. i hate to agree with the guy in the russian parliament, it's some kind of missile. something's going on there. wake up. >> i didn't realize that it was coming like -- people in the
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newsroom, what's happening? they're like, there's a meteor. and i was like, oh, that's cool. >> that's a huge meteor. there's global talk of a global response to protect us from meteors. how do you do that? shoot them down? look at that. >> when it's your time, it's your time, dean. that's how i live. let's talk about this canadian parliament thing. listen. >> yes. >> the zombie invasion in the united states could easily turn into a continent pandemic if it's not contained. on behalf of concerned canadians everywhere, mr. speaker, i want to ask the minister of foreign affairs, is he working with his american counterparts to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion does not turn into a zombie apocalypse? >> i want to assure this member and all canadians that i am
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dead -- icated to ensuring that this never happens. i want to say categorically to this member and through him to all canadians, under the leadership of this prime minister, canada will never become a safe haven for zombies ever. >> why can't our lawmakers do something like that? >> hear, hear. that's great. we are sleeping. we're talking about meteors and cruise ships. zombies are coming from the north, crossing the border. these zombies won't self-deport because they have no sense of direction. you can't get them to go back over. easily distracted. anchor zombies are going to take our jobs. we're fatter than the canadians. they're going to love eating us. wake up, american government. the zombies are coming. >> i wish they had enough sense of humor to do something like that. >> it's great they did it tongue in cheek. i'm obviously kidding, too. but imagine our congress joking around? they yell at each other. >> did you watch the ship come in? did your ship come in this week?
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>> my ship didn't. but that cruise ship did and i was sucked in by it. i can't believe i'm admitting that. i was sucked in by the coverage. >> so you watched the whole thing? were you glued to the television like the people -- there were some people in one of my friend's beauty parlor who said they couldn't stop watching it. >> i have no career, don. obviously i'm here on saturday nights. i have nothing else going on. i usually watch cruise ships no matter what. this one was leading to something. a cruise to alabama. i want to get booked on -- >> there's a joke in there. thank you, dean. bye-bye. >> take care, don. and next -- ♪ >> is this live? >> i sit down with one of the hottest bands in the world, fun.
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♪ home tonight ♪ we are young ♪ so we'll set the world on fire ♪ ♪ we can burn brighter ♪ than the sun >> you know you know them. that's the band fun. the song that propelled them into mainstream music. it's been almost a week since they walked away with two of music's most coveted awards, best song of the year and best new artist. at the grammys.
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they sat down with me to talk about their big wins, their climb to the top and what's next for them. ♪ >> congratulations, best new artist, song of the year. you were really surprised? >> yeah, we were surprised to be nominated in the first place. i think even just surprised by what the last year has brought. what makes all of this stuff so special is that it was from an album where we expected nothing because we've been doing this for 11, 12 years. we thought maybe it would get a little more people to recognize us. but suddenly a whirlwind happened behind it. everybody got behind the album. we're not out to cater to anyone other than ourselves as artists and to the fans that come to our concerts. ♪ ♪ tonight we are young ♪ so we'll set the world on fire ♪
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>> you sound very unique. it reminds me, i don't know why, of queen, a little bit. but did you have a tough time convincing people to buy what you were selling? >> i think for us, modernizing the record being influenced by hip-hop, unintentionally put that kind of mainstream type of appeal over it. and i think the label probably feel like they got a surprise. because they thought they were going to get something a little more rootsy, a little more bandish, and they got a whole different beast. ♪ >> what inspired that particular verse? >> i think it's just kind of -- it's funny looking back now. but it just felt kind of like just a lack of acknowledgment from doing it for as long -- we always felt like the bridesmaids.
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it's questioning how much longer you can do it but it can get a little hard. it's hard to start over again. sometimes you start to question whether or not it's worth it. >> but everything is hills and valleys. >> yeah. >> but sometimes the valleys, it's nice, though, because you're like, i remember this is the way it was and i did it because i loved it, not because i wanted to be successful. >> well, i think there's just a lot that comes with this commitment that we've made to tour for so long. we all adore each other. we have the best times together. we are each other's family. but now it's like i don't have a home. i don't know where to go when i'm off tour. it's all just very weird. ♪ >> you know it's going to happen, i know it's like the
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question that everyone asks. you don't know where your journey is going to go as far as success if this is it or you hope it's going to go higher, right? i would venture to guess that it is. if you're looking back, what do you think you're going to be talking about about yourselves, about what you're proud of? >> it's a very fascinating question, don lemon. >> i think any moment that we've had together and separately, we look back and say, we had no idea, in a good way. i think that's what it means to still be inspired. >> i want to not be wistful, i guess. i want to try to live right now in a way that makes me just happy, look back fondly instead of trying to claim, oh, man, you don't even know what i had, you don't even know what it was like, a million chicks, 100 parties, several friends. i don't want to be like that. i want to feel like -- that was nice. this is nice, too. i want to think like, i'm happy,
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i knew a little bit less than than i know now. >> you guys were awesome. thank you very much. >> thanks, don lemon. ♪ tonight we are young ♪ so we'll set the world on fire ♪ ♪ we can burn brighter >> thanks, guys. that's the beautiful and talented janelle monae in the video with them contributing to that. ahead, our moment of the week and the dance craze that's infected the nation.
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chances are, you're not made of money, so don't overpay for motorcycle insurance. geico, see how much you could save.
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i'm a combat wounded iraq veteran. as i was recovering at walter reed, my community approached me and said they wanted to help build a home for my return. people would come and work on my project just because they respected the sacrifice that i had gone through.
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all veterans have been taught to be responsible for the guy to your left and the guy to your right. those veterans haven't had it as easy as i have. i sat down with my battle buddy, john, and we decided to level the playing field. i'm dale beatty. it's now my mission to help other veterans to get the support and the homes they deserve from their communities. there's thousands of veterans right here in our midst. people don't realize the need that's out there. purple heart homes can help any disabled war veteran. regardless ever age or war. >> this is the young man why we're all here today. >> it's getting the community engaged, to get a rent or foreclosed home remodeled or an entire house built from the ground up. >> i had narrow door ways.
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i had to crawl in on my hands and knees. to have them build a whole new bathroom was unbelievable. >> we want to make their life easier, safer, just better. and their emotion is being rehabbed as well. >> i did three tours in vietnam. for 35 years, no one cared. purple heart homes said, welcome home. it's great to be home after 40 years. >> regardless of when you serve, we're all the same. they just need to know that somebody does care about them.
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